Jan. 21, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The No. 3 University of Oklahoma men's gymnastics team continued its hot start to the 2012 season by taking down No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, 353.150-347.750.
The Sooners (5-0, 1-0 MPSF) swept all six team event titles and scored almost 10 points higher than their season-opener total in Colorado last weekend.
"I think we're going to be a good team," said OU Head Coach Mark Williams. "I was a little frustrated at times that we were giving away more than we should have. I'm certainly happy for the victory, but we have a lot to do to be a good team and we have a lot more work to do to actually get there."
OU was led by junior Jake Dalton, who took home five event titles (floor, rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar) along with the all-around title with an 89.000.
"I definitely saw a jump from last weekend," said Dalton. "I had a few mistakes last weekend and I had a couple of mistakes tonight as well, but our team is really coming together. We're staying strong and fighting through the whole meet. We came out with a win and that's what we're looking to do."
Oklahoma began the dual on pommel horse, scoring a 57.250. The Sooners were led on the apparatus by freshmen Michael Reid (15.000) and Jacoby Rubin (14.600), both posting career highs.
After trailing Ohio State through one event by 3.050, the Sooners collected a 61.600 on floor and took a 118.850-117.150 lead after two rotations. Raymond White (15.500), Dylan Akers (14.950) and Alec Robin (14.900) all set career highs on floor, while Dalton tied his personal best of 16.250.
OU extended its lead in the third rotation with a 59.150 on vault behind Dalton's 15.000 and Michael Heredia's 14.800. Oklahoma scored a 59.150 on rings with three gymnasts posting scores of 15.000 or higher on rings; Dalton (15.200), Nitzky (15.100) and Stehl (15.000).
Dalton led Oklahoma on high bar in the fifth rotation with a career-best 15.550 to help the Sooners score a 58.050 in the event.
The Sooners clinched the victory with a 57.150 on parallel bars with top scores coming from Dalton (15.100) and Rubin (14.500).
The dual marked Ohio State's first home meet under former OU assistant Rustam Sharipov. The Buckeyes' first-year head coach spent six seasons in Norman as an assistant coach from 2005-2011 and helped coach the Sooners to NCAA titles in 2006 and 2008.
"It was great to see my old friend Rustam," said Williams. "He put on a great competition for his first home meet as their new head coach."
Oklahoma will face off against another pair of Big Ten schools when it travels to Champaign, Ill., for a tri-meet against No. 4 Illinois and No. 6 Michigan on Jan. 28. The Sooners, Illini and Wolverines began the season as the top three teams in the GymInfo Preseason Coaches Poll.